What’s that? Greece is ‘humane’ enough for the EU, but not humane enough for Afghan welfare seekers….?
The European Union’s top court on Wednesday barred EU states from transferring asylum seekers to other EU countries where they could face “inhuman treatment”.
- European Court of Justice rules no EU country can assume it can return asylum seekers to another member state
- Decision forbids Britain from returning Afghan man to Greece, even though he came to UK via that country
- 90% of immigrants who arrive in Europe illegally do so through Greece
Under EU rules British officials can return asylum seekers to the first European country they set foot in.
But today the European Court of Justice said no-one should be returned to a country if it did not uphold their ‘fundamental rights’.
“Fundamental rights” include halal food, imams as spiritual advisors, Muslim interpreters… etc…
This means Britain cannot send asylum seekers back to Greece because its asylum system is such a mess.
The ruling also opens the door for claims against other countries on the grounds their asylum systems are not up to scratch.Â
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch said: ‘This makes Greece the perfect back door into Britain.
‘In future, asylum seekers who are not, in fact, genuine will claim that they have come through Greece, whether or not they have.
‘It also undermines the agreement which provides for asylum seekers to be sent back to the first EU country in which they arrived.’
Around 90 per cent of illegal immigrants who arrive in Europe do so through Greece, placing enormous strain on the country’s immigration system.
The court ruled on a case brought by an Afghan national known as ‘NS’ who was arrested in Greece in 2008 then expelled to Turkey. He escaped and travelled to the UK where he applied for asylum.
Britain ordered his return to Greece but he launched a legal challenge.
The court’s ruling said no EU government could take it for granted that another member state’s asylum procedures complied with fundamental rights.
The judges said: ‘An asylum seeker may not be transferred to a member state where he risks being subjected to inhuman treatment.’
As a result member states cannot send an asylum seeker back if they have ‘substantial grounds for believing that the asylum seeker would face a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.’
Between 2006 and 2010, the UK removed 6,034 people to other member states under the asylum rules – known as the Dublin Regulations.
Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope said it was time to ‘get tough’ with Greece.
‘Of course, it is not right that genuine asylum-seekers are returned to a country where they face further persecution’ he said.
‘However, there is also now a clear incentive for people with other motives to enter the EU via Greece, safe in the knowledge that other countries are powerless to return them.’
But Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council welcomed the ruling.
She said: ‘The responsibility to receive and determine claims of people seeking safety in Europe should be shared across the continent, particularly in Western European countries who see far fewer asylum seekers annually.
‘The focus for the member states must now be on improving asylum systems across Europe to ensure people are treated humanely while seeking safety in any country.’
Immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘Asylum claims should be dealt with in the first country of arrival.
‘We expect every member state to ensure that the Dublin Regulation can operate effectively across the EU, and we are working with Greece to improve their asylum processes.’